Findings of a recently published systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that turmeric and curcuminoids can significantly alter blood lipid levels in patients with metabolic diseases.

To investigate the effects of turmeric and curcuminoids on lipids, study authors searched various databases (Web of Science, PubMed, Ovid [EMBASE and MEDLINE], Scopus, the Cochrane Library, Wanfang Data, and China Knowledge Infrastructure) in order to obtain randomized controlled trials (RCTs) where turmeric (and its active ingredients) was the only supplement given and outcomes related to triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were reported. 

A total of 14 studies including 16 arms were selected to be included in the analysis:  12 arms evaluated TG, 14 arms analyzed TC, 13 arms assessed LDL-C, and 16 arms studied HDL-C.

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The study authors reported that use of turmeric and curcuminoids resulted in reductions in TG (mean difference: -19.1mg/dL; 95% CI: −31.7, −6.46mg/dL; P =.003), TC (mean difference: −11.4 mg/dL; 95% CI: −17.1, −5.74mg/dL; P <.0001), and LDL-C (mean difference: −9.83mg/dL; 95% CI: −15.9, −3.74mg/dL; P =.002). Additionally, the supplement was found to improve HDL-C (mean difference: 1.9mg/dL; 95% CI: 0.31, 3.49mg/dL; P =.02).  The analysis also showed that prolonged treatment (>8 weeks) and higher doses (>300mg/day of curcimunoids) was associated with greater efficacy.

The study authors pointed out, “these findings should be interpreted cautiously because of the significant heterogeneity between included studies (I2 > 50%).” They added, “There is a need for further RCTs in future.”

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This article originally appeared on MPR